Col Du Saint-Espirit

Les Arcs

Vanoise Massif

Hard off piste ski, requires skins and knowledge

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
4.2 km
Ascent
277 m
Descent
827 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
3 km
Gradient
38˚
Col Du Saint-Espirit Map

At the top of the Grand Col chair lift traverse lookers right under the mountain in from of you, called Aguille de St.Espirit until you reach a large open gully on this face. This is the hike up. In hard snow conditions you may need crampons. Climb this gully until you reach an obvious plateau on the right hand side, from here you can see the Mont Pourri glacier on the left. This is a great place to scope other potential missions, although everything over this side is glacier terrain. The descent drops away in front of you, this is a SE facing slope so it a good idea to get their early morning if its warm weather. It is an wide open gully with lots of features, there is glacier terrain above you so be careful but in general this is a fun descent. Keep the St.Espirit mountains on your right as you have two options for getting out. The easiest of which is to cut right as soon as the Espirit mountain finishes and you will see the Mont Pourri Refuge in front of you....good place for a coffee and amazing view on the Bellcotte and over to Tignes. From the refuge you can skin back out to the grand col chair lift, on your left is the Lanchettes and on your right is the Aguille Du Espirit,its about an hours skin straight out of the valley. If you have time then it is a great idea to combing the Crete Des Lanchettes as access from the refuge is very easy.

Description

The second way out is to not go near the refuge but stay to the skiers left of the gully and head toward the summer tracks that lead to Lac de La Plagne, be careful though as you need to stay high on the traverse, below you is very exposed cliffs and is a no fall zone. If you can negotiate through here then you end up and the end of the Nancroix valley, here its just a skin back to get the bus to Peisey.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

February

Features

  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area